Toshiba America’s telecommunication systems division released its UCedge Unified Communications (UC) platform, which delivers interoperability between Toshiba phone systems and third-party devices.
The platform offers feature parity across different device types with differing operating systems, including Apple iOS and Google Android smartphones and tablets, Windows and Mac desktops and laptops.
Moreover, with UCedge, a user can utilize multiple devices simultaneously, initiate dialing on a desk phone through the contact list on a mobile device, or start an instant message on one device and continue messaging on another.
Integrations with social media, video and other forward-looking technologies in coming releases will provide additional possibilities, Brian Metherell, vice president and general manager of Toshiba Telecommunication Systems Division, told eWEEK.
In addition to bringing UC to Android and Apple smartphones and tablets and Windows and Mac computers, the platform works on Toshiba’s VIPedge and IPedge business phone solutions as well as Strata CIX systems with an IPedge Application Server.
"The UC experience is evolving. Technologies–voice, video, mobility, collaboration, social networking--will continue to merge and interwork, enabling new ways for people to communicate instantaneously and with ease across any device," Metherell said. "UCedge is a step forward in unifying communications."
On the security front, Toshiba uses SSLV3 secure access to the Web browser. The company also automatically logs out idle telephony access once a new device has been activated, and Toshiba’s clients are password-protected across the network.
With the UCedge client application downloaded and installed on smartphone or tablet, for example, workers can use the mobile device as their business telephone, taking advantage of single number reach, synchronizing with their business contact lists and accessing all the features and functionality of their business phone system.
"Consider the benefits to a company’s competitive edge and bottom line when a mobile UC solution is in place–employees can stay in touch with remotely located colleagues to make important decisions and resolve issues in real-time, ultimately providing the highest level of customer service," Metherell said. "In fact, studies show that mobile workers are highly responsive and readily engaged even outside of regular office hours."
The UCedge client for mobile devices is available as a download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The company noted mobile devices require a cellular data plan with an option to enable WiFi access for locations with poor cell network service.
Metherell also pointed out bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs have created both opportunities and challenges in the UC space.
"The opportunity is the ability for companies to allow employees to use their personal communication devices as tools to enhance their work productivity. Clearly more and more employees are coming to work equipped with their own mobile phone," he said. "The challenge is to enable them to look like they are part of the corporation regardless of the device they are using and method they wish to use to communicate. Another challenge is to allow employees to communicate using their preferred devise from virtually any location in a secure fashion."